Start a Conversation Today
Approach someone this summer at an event, party, industry meeting or anywhere you go . Take the initiative and do not wait for them to approach you. The key to creating connections is starting a conversation. The secret of conversation is to ask open-ended high-gain questions, like:
“What brings you to this meeting?
“What kind of work do you do?”
“I’m new to this association, what can you tell me about it and how are you enjoying it?”
These are some of the very same questions I’ve been asking people as I start conversations and connect now that I have relocated to the West Coast of Florida. Just this week, I found myself at a meeting for the Performing Arts Center here. I introduced myself to the coordinator and knew a bit of information since I had done some research and then sat down next to two people at a round table. Just by asking some ‘open ended’ questions and listening, I walked away with two new connections and one has already emailed me for a coffee date.
I’m following exactly the approach I lay out in my Networking Checklist.
The quality of the information you receive depends on the quality of your questions. Think of the environment of where you are meeting, find common interests and learn about the other person.
When we have a conversation, it may lead to a business or personal relationship, however the first step is Rapport. From rapport, a relationship may develop and could lead to new business. Any relationship, when nurtured, can and will lead to long-term continued success.
Meet someone new in order to welcome and create these opportunities. If nothing else, you will hone your presentation skills and that is always a major plus and you will get ready for the next person who may be that golden opportunity and you may be able to help them.